Park mangers say they euthanized "an aggressive, habituated, and human-food-conditioned black bear" Tuesday out of "concern for visitor safety."
But it was also a result of stupid people making unnatural food available to the bear.
The adult female bear had been seen frequenting the Slough Creek area in the park's north central area. The bear was 4 - 5 years old and weighed between 100 and 125 pounds. Some observers had mistaken her for a grizzly since it was brown in color.
In mid-July, the bear entered an occupied backcountry campsite in the Slough Creek drainage. Attempts to chase her away failed, and she ate the dinner the camper had prepared for himself.
So ... a bear that weighs about as much as two sacks of feed -- about the mass of a medium-sized dog -- is so dangerous it has to be killed? Gah.
We were just in the Smoky Mountains (not Yellowstone) over the weekend. Plenty of signage warning about feeding bears and leaving food behind. We cleaned up our food and didn't leave anything for bears or other wildlife to consume.
Hank, even 100 pounds is a lot bigger than our three-year-old son, or even our five-year-old, and comfortably more than our seven-year-old. I'm glad we didn't see any human-habituated bears, and we did our part to keep things that way. It's a shame others are more careless.
@Hank: Bears are extremely dangerous; at the very least if you catch one on a bad hair day it will mangle you very badly. Their claws are razor-sharp and of course they've got a nasty bite too. If people feed wild animals, those animals tend to get very aggressive; you can see that behavior in anything from seagulls to humans (but domestic animals have been largely selected to not have that behavior). So while there is no evidence for (and a hell of a lot of evidence against) the claim that an animal that has tasted humans will want more human on its menu, there is no doubt that they do get aggressive and will attack humans for food if they become conditioned to getting food off humans. I can put you up against a dog which barely weighs more than half a sack of feed and I'll bet on the dog winning. Same goes for some apes. Don't screw with bears. Contrary to biblical claims, the other animals were not created to be servile, or even nice, to humans.
remember the crazy malibou-based bear whisperer that went up to alaska to save bears in a national forest (Katmai in 2003)? yeah, he ended up getting 2 bears killed as well, because his dumb ass was habituating the creatures to humans and wastefulness as well. sad day for bears when timothy treadwell decided to save them.
Did they eat that guy? Or was that some other guy.